Welcoming the Canon 50mm 1.2L

Just shy of an “up-to-date” update I did a significant upload of dailies today. I continue to struggle with an elegant SmugMug upload solution for Windows Phone 7. I found “MySmug” but it strips meta data which is unacceptable. I need date sorting! Despite Windows Phone photo app woes I still love it more than the iPhone, the interface is just the unsung hero of user experience and I am prepared to sit it out. I’m also a Microsoft employee, I do maintain that’s not why I love the phone.

Recently I was lucky enough to get a Canon EF 50mm 1.2L and I love it.

Let me restate that just to be clear;

I LOVE it Red heart

It is an epic, legendary, monumental piece of glass. It’s not for the faint of heart. all sub f2.0 aspherical lenses exhibit focus shift, unless they have a floating rear element (make a pricey lens even pricier). The theory goes that the nature of the 1.2 is intentional. Due to all that buttery bokeh. Canon have been making lenses for a long time and this design was very much on purpose. Shift isn’t a problem wide open… which, let’s be honest, is the reason you buy this lens in the first place. But wide open you are up against another challenge, the thinnest focal plane you have ever worked with. I feel like 25K Shots over six years with the Canon EF 50mm 1.4 just about prepared me. All of these properties add up to the lenses epic nature, its just that it’s allot to handle if you are not used to it. Oh, and it’s heavy. The results however…

Without further adieu, here is a photo ala 50 1.2…


Raising the quality bar and a #365Project update

It’s been a busy and diverse few weeks for me in photography. Rather than pasting in a grid of photos I’ve decided to give you just one photo to enjoy from my ongoing 365 Project. If you like it please do check it out in all it’s glory in my portfolio and see it’s brother and sister pictures taken a day or two in its past of future.

The below was a very simple photograph. It was shot in fairly low light with a 50mm lens on a Canon 5D MKII.

This picture is of a Linhof Technika 4×5, Gavin Seim’s to be specific. He came and spoke at our Smug Mug Users Group in Seattle this week. He had some interesting perspectives on large prints. I was a little skeptical at first however after some presentation, discussion and sharing some large print work with us I started to get his point. We do tend to be trapped in the world of 5×7, 8×10 and… increasingly facebook.

I think there is something in what he had to say about the pursuit of quality. Facebook and camera phones lower the bar in quality whilst raising our output and ability to share. Now, I’m also aware of the work by many photographers such as Chase Jarvis who espouse the camera you have with you and cell phone cameras being a perfectly valid tool. Seim’s point was beyond 5x7s and provided an interesting contrast in perspective.

Where do I stand on the topic? A little bit of both makes sense to me. We can’t dismiss the importance of prolific photography on our lives, connections and sharing moments. Plus you can create a wonderful composition with a small camera. The flip side is if you wish to do big prints then you need better equipment. Yes a camera phone can produce some excellent work. Honing your skills on more advanced equipment can enable you to take that to the next level on screen and in print. Plus I like to think it provides a degree of future proofing.

My $0.02 anyhow. What do you think?

50mm on a budget

I love my 50mm 1.4 and have used it on a 20D, 40D and it spends allot of time on my 5D MKII. If you are bargain hunting this holiday then why not get a second hand Canon Rebel or 40D and add a 1.8 50mm to the mix. You’ll be shooting family shots to remember these holidays.

As of writing B&H Photo had this lens on sale for $99.

Benefits of wide aperture (such as 1.8, 1.4, 1.2): Great low light performance, attractive bokeh, the blurry background and in focus foreground. The wider your aperture (smaller the number) the shallower your depth of field and the less that is in focus. Enabling you to isolate your subject from the background.

Picture from B&H Photo;